Waterways transformation in the vulnerable port city of Alexandria

Sara S. Fouad, Essam Heggy, Udo Weilacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The IPCC AR6 report advises that climate change will exacerbate storm surges and coastal flooding in the eastern Mediterranean basin in the upcoming decades. The above is particularly acute in low-lying arid cities in developing nations like Alexandria. The communities' lack of awareness of these rising vulnerabilities subsequently impacts their willingness to tackle upcoming challenges. The latter strongly relies on the public perception and efficiency of the ongoing waterways and waterscape transformations, which remains largely unquantified. To address this deficiency, we evaluate these factors for the historic transformed 21-km canal in Alexandria's vulnerable arid port city. We perform a public survey based on the City Development Strategy for Sustainable Development criterion, assessing the inhabitants' perceptions of the degeneration and transformation of the city's most iconic and historic urban waterway. Our results suggest that the waterscape's multiple transformations negatively influenced the inhabitants' awareness of Alexandria's coastal vulnerabilities and led to public disconnection from the city's maritime heritage, visual attributes, and environment. This disconnection resulting from decades of degrading waterways and inefficient landscape transformations is mainly observed among youth and further compromises the city's resilience to upcoming coastal hazards and aggravates the ecological and coastal degradations. We suggest an adaptive conceptual plan of waterways regeneration to restore their roles in mitigating climatic challenges and improving public connectivity to the historic city's marine identity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104426
JournalCities
Volume141
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Alexandria
  • City development strategy
  • Climate change
  • Environmental design
  • Inefficient planning policies
  • Landscape architecture
  • Landscape urbanism
  • Port cities
  • Public engagement
  • Waterways transformations

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